What Parents Need to Know About Cyberbullying

Sept. 12, 2006 — -- Parents often have no idea that their kids are the victims of cyberbullying, or that their own kid could be a bully, especially if they are not as technologically savvy as their teens.

What are some common cyberbullying tactics parents should know about?

Stealing someone's online name and using it to write nasty rumors, comments and gossip.

Altering someone's message or doctoring photographs to say something different or poke fun at a person.

In the "Primetime" experiment, for example, "She is loud" became "She is a loud pig," then was cut, pasted and sent to the person the kids were talking about.

In another example, an innocent photograph of three girls was redrawn with a beer mug in one girl's hand, a joint in another girl's mouth, and cocaine under a third girl's nose, saying she sold sex in exchange for drugs.

Secretly recording conversations using your cell phone, then playing the recording back for the person being discussed.

Cyberbullying Statistics From I-Safe.org

42 percent of kids have been bullied while online. One in four have had it happen more than once.

35 percent of kids have been threatened online. Nearly one in five have had it happen more than once.

21 percent of kids have received mean or threatening e-mail or other messages.

58 percent of kids admit someone has said mean or hurtful things to them online. More than four out of 10 say it has happened more than once.

58 percent have not told their parents or an adult about something mean or hurtful that happened to them online.

Data based on 2004 i-SAFE survey of 1,500 students in grades 4 to 8.